Washington ranks first in the country—tied with Indiana and Nevada—when it comes to state policies that promote a strong charter school sector, according to a new report out today from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).
The report, On the Road to Better Charter Schools, provides an analysis of current charter school oversight policies across the nation. Each state is scored against eight known best practices in school accountability and authorizer quality that help to ensure a consistent, high-performing charter sector.
Washington’s charter school law, reinstated last year with bipartisan support, receives a perfect score. The law restored the State Charter School Commission, a quality authorizer whose high standards helped get the state’s existing charter schools off to a strong start.
“Washington is a national model for how to get charter school policies right,” said John Hedstrom, Vice President of Policy for NACSA. “Its law strikes the right balance that gives charter schools the freedom they need to thrive, while ensuring these schools meet a high bar and are good schools for students and taxpayers.”
The report details the state’s strengths in school accountability, including required annual performance reports and a standard for charter school renewal. It also details the state’s policies to ensure the organizations responsible for opening and monitoring charter schools adhere to professional authorizing standards, including evaluations and sanctions.
“NACSA’s ranking is a testament to the fact that state policymakers from both sides of the aisle have built a strong foundation for charter schools that is focused on creating more high-quality public school options for families across the state,” concluded Joshua Halsey, Executive Director of the Washington State Charter School Commission.
With all of NACSA’s recommended policies in law, Washington educators are well-positioned to do the hard work of creating and sustaining great public schools. Despite this, quality school options are yet again threatened by a new lawsuit filed by charter school opponents in the state.
The full report, with Washington’s complete ranking, is available at www.qualitycharters.org.
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is an independent voice for effective charter school policy and thoughtful charter authorizing practices that lead to more great public schools. Our research, policy, and consultation work advances excellence and accountability in the charter school sector. With authorizers and other partners, we have built the gold standard for charter school authorizing. Through smart charter school growth, these authorizers will give hundreds of thousands of children an opportunity for a better education each year. More at www.qualitycharters.org.